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Understanding Recruitment in 2021: The NCAA

By Scott Martin , 01/05/21, 9:15AM PST


Understanding Recruitment in 2021: The NCAA

As our country continues to battle the Coronavirus pandemic, the world of recruitment in basketball invariably will have increased barriers to success. Our team at Attitude of Gratitude College Consulting through our experience, network, and expertise have found the following realities in 2021 and we have SOLUTIONS. 


The NCAA in response to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have instituted a number of measures in response. All of these have an effect on recruitment.

Extra Year of Eligibility

All three division levels have granted winter sport athletes an extra year of eligibility. This means athletes have the flexibility to both compete freely in the 2020-21 season and return for an additional year. 

Normally, a student-athlete has 5 years to play 4 years of basketball. An extra year means a current student-athlete would have 6 years to play their 4 years. This means NCAA student-athletes can compete in all or a portion of the 2020-21 season, but it will not be counted against their years of eligibility. 

How does this affect YOU?

For college coaches, this extra year of eligibility means a complete reevaluation of needs going into the following season. If any of the 2020-21 senior class decides to return for an additional year of competition, there will be less roster spots available and needs for recruitment will change. Competition for roster spots will be increasingly difficult. There is also the reality that scholarships will be limited with budget cuts and the elimination of athletic programs. Our team at Attitude of Gratitude College Consulting has a plan in place to guide athletes and families through these new realities. 

Dead Period/ Live Period

The NCAA Division 1 Council in November 2020 extended the recruiting dead period through April 15, 2021. During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with student-athletes or their parents or watch student-athletes compete. Coaches are able  to write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period. Division 2, 3, and NAIA colleges have varying recruiting rules depending on the rules put in place by the universities and conferences. 

There are two different kinds of live evaluation periods that take place. During April, coaches can only evaluate recruits at NCAA-certified events. These are the events attended  by AAU or club basketball programs. The remainder of the live evaluation periods must take place at a regularly scheduled high school, prep school, or two-year college tournament, practice or game. 

The NCAA currently has the following live periods scheduled for NCAA-certified events:: April 9-11, April 23-25, and July 8-11. With the current dead period extended the April 9-11 live period will not take place. Below is the link for the NCAA recruiting calendar. Our Attitude of Gratitude Consulting approved events allows for student-athletes to attend events that allow for more exposure to college coaches. 

April 22, 2021 – July 5, 2021: Quiet period with exceptions below

  • April 23–25, 2021: Evaluation period for Certified Events

  • April 26–29, 2021: Recruiting period

  • June 18 (noon) –20 (6 pm), 2021: Evaluation period for scholastic events approved by the NCAA and NFHS and intercollegiate events approved by applicable two-year college governing body only

  • June 25 (noon) – 27 (6 pm), 2021: Evaluation period for scholastic events approved by the NCAA and NFHS and intercollegiate events approved by applicable two-year college governing body only

  • July 6-31, 2021: Dead period with exceptions below

  • July 8–11, 2021: Evaluation period

  • July 20–25, 2021: Evaluation period for NCAA College basketball academy

  • July 26–31, 2021: Quiet period

  • NCAA Recruiting Calendar

How does this affect YOU?

The current extension of the dead period for Division 1 schools makes being seen by Division 1 schools increasingly difficult. Varying guidelines at the Division 2 and 3 level make it hard to ascertain who can see who. There are solutions to these new realities in recruitment. Attitude of Gratitude College Advisors formulate a strategic plan to utilize our network to outreach to schools in order to get YOU on their radar. Our endorsed events give you the opportunity to be seen by college coaches who are allowed by their universities and NCAA to do so. 


While there are barriers in place that have not been seen in the recruiting process, we have found that solutions remain. In order to be recruited in today's climate, strategy and a team behind you that can help you navigate are more important than ever. To receive a free consultation with one of our advisors visit